One of my Macaroni Kid partners, Wendy, came up with what she thought was a fabulous idea.
"Wouldn't it be awesome if we could get a huge portrait of all our kids together with our Macaroni Kid banner...we could use it on our website!" she exclaimed to me and our other partner, Ann, one day.
Awesome? Well, not exactly the word I would've chosen for such an occasion.
Crazy? Oh yeah. An agonizing form of torture? Most definitely.
You see, between the 3 of us, we have 9 kids ranging in age from 2 years old to 7 years old.
Okay, stop laughing hysterically and try to compose yourself. We haven't even gotten to the funny part yet.
So being the go-getter that she is, Wendy partnered with one of the most well-known photographers in our area. After the holidays had passed, she immediately contacted the photographer and set up an appointment to have the portrait done.
In the meantime, Wendy kept saying things like, "I was up all night, envisioning how it will look. I was thinking we could have the kids all laying together on their bellies across the banner. They can all wear matching shirts!"
I tried to share her enthusiasm. Really, I did. But I know my spawn...and I knew we were headed for disaster.
The day arrived and we had arranged to meet at the photographer's studio and then head out to the beautiful grounds of the local university just down the street.
When I arrived at the studio, Wendy was already there with her 2 kids. I opened the door, sprung the spawn loose and the photographer looked at me and asked, "You have 4 kids?!"
I nodded my head as I noted the sparkle in his eye began to fade. The noise level in the studio was quickly rising and Ann still hadn't arrived with her 3 kids.
The photographer asked, "Is this everyone?"
Wendy answered, "Uh, no....Ann has 3 kids". He then excused himself and went into the back of the studio, probably to toss an entire bottle of Advil down his throat and to desperately search for some ear plugs.
After Ann got there, the photographer had one of his partners and her assistant join us and he explained that she would be taking our picture. She didn't seem nervous though as she watched our kids fight over a pack of gum, while 2 of my spawn spit at one another and 1 was crying for no obvious reason other than to annoy me.
It took only a few minutes to get down the street to the college campus and once the kids were released from their carseats, they happily ran across the grass....and into a courtyard full of rose bushes, where one of my kids got stabbed in the arm by a bunch of thorns.
Just as I said, "Watch...it'll be one of my kids who falls and gets their shirt dirty", one of my kids fell and got his shirt dirty. Could this get any better?!
So, my friends, in case you're ever wondering what it's like to do a photo session with 9 young children (4 of which are the spawn of the devil himself), let me give you the breakdown in the form of numbers.
5 - the number of times I asked my kids if they had to go potty before we left the studio after lying to them that there would be no bathroom where we were going
4 - the number of children who insisted they didn't have to go
1 - the number of children who came up to me with a sad look on their face AFTER we had already arrived on campus and said, "Mommy, don't be mad at me but I might have pooped a little in my pants".
10 - the number of minutes we had to hold up the photo session for the 1 kid who had to finish pinching one off, preferably in the toilet this time
3 - the number of times I was told by 1 of my spawn that he hated me because I was mean
6 - the number of times Wendy threatened to spank her son if he didn't stop doing what he was doing
8 - the number of times Wendy and I demanded to know what Ann puts in her kids' juice to make them so quiet and well behaved.
0 - the number of times Ann's kids talked back to her
11 - the number of times my kids talked back to me
25 - the number of minutes one of my kids cried
7 - the number of times I threatened to remove the crying child from the photo session
2 - the number of times I actually followed through on that threat
13 - the number of times I told my kids to keep their hands to themselves
17 - the number of times they hit one another anyway
1 - the number of trees which were watered by a child who had to pee desperately
26 - the number of times all the kids complained that they were cold
28 - the number of times we told them that if they would just stop fooling around and do what they were told, we could get into our warm cars and leave
5 - the number of unopened wine bottles we have in our house, which kept dancing through my head
2000 - the number of calories I wanted to consume after the torture....I mean, photo session
30- the number of seconds it took me to tell Tim, once I got home, that I was getting the hell outta there and he was on his own with the spawn to figure out what to do for dinner
But wait...it's not over. The next day the photographer posted on our Facebook wall, "Give me a call. I have some other ideas if you're up for it".
After viewing the pictures online (and laughing our asses off), we came to the sad conclusion that the photo session had not been successful. No shit, right?
So we will be going back for yet another session but, this time, in the studio where the photographer says we'll have more control.
Her words, not mine.
Lord help us all.
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